What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is a common condition characterised by pain at the outside of the elbow with movements of the wrist and hand. The pain is usually localized to the tendon of a small muscle of the forearm just below the elbow called Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB). Anyone who performs repetitive tasks with their hands and wrists can be susceptible, including office workers and manual labourers.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The cardinal sign of tennis elbow is pain felt on the outside of the elbow, particularly when making wrist movements or when gripping an object. Symptoms may occur suddenly or appear gradually over time. If pain has persisted for three months then it is considered to be a chronic condition. As with most injuries, the longer an issue has been present, the longer it usually takes to resolve.
What causes it?
While tennis elbow was originally thought to be due an inflammation process, it appears that this is not the case, rather there is an increased sensitivity to the area along with changes to the blood supply and disorganization of the collagen fibres that make up the tendon. If the health of the tendon tissue is compromised, this can also contribute to the development of tennis elbow.
How can Physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapist at Easy Therapy will first confirm that you are indeed suffering from tennis elbow, which is an important step as some neck conditions can present with similar symptoms. Easy physiotherapists can also identify any muscle tightness, postural or ergonomic flaws and joints stiffness that may be contributing to your condition. Treatment may include, fitting of a brace, dry needling, strengthening with eccentric exercises and stretching. Eccentric exercises load the muscles in a very specific way and research has shown that these exercises can help strengthen tendon tissues, reducing symptoms of tennis elbow.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your individual condition.
To book a consult please call 604-537-7167 or email us at info@easytherapy